Emerson, NJ - Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest non-profit and most profitable health system, pays its top officers millions of dollars and spends tens of millions of dollars on lobbying and public relations but refuses to reach a settlement with its nursesand other health workers for livable, respectable wages and safe staffing levels, the nurses’ union said today.
The nurses’ union—the Health Professionals and Allied Employees, or HPAE—has been at the bargaining table with the hospital system for several months, yielding no settlement.The healthcare workers are holding informational pickets on Wednesday outside of three HMH facilities: Palisades Medical Center/The Harborage (from 6-9 a.m. and 1-4pm), Jersey Shore University Medical Center (from 6-10 a.m. and 5:30 – 9:30 p.m.) and Southern Ocean Medical Center (from 4 – 8:30 p.m.)
When the Hackensack and Meridian hospital systems merged in 2016, Robert Garrett and John Lloyd were appointed co-CEOs to run what became New Jersey’s largest and most profitable non-profit healthcare corporation.
According to publicly available records, in 2016 Hackensack Meridian Health had annual profits of $338 million1 and in January 2018 HMH projected it’s annual revenues at $5.5 billion.
Garrett earned $4.5 million in 2016; Lloyd earned $3.9 million. Even before the merger, Hackensack and Meridian were both flush with money, paying substantial salary increases for their corporate officers—as much as 50 percent for Garrett in 2015 and 45 percent for Lloyd in 2014.
Since the 2016 merger, publicly available records show Hackensack Meridian has spent tens of millions of dollars on advertising, legal expenses, and lobbying efforts. In 2016, it spent $26.2 million on advertising and promotions; $7.9 million on legal expenses; and $1.3 million on lobbying.
Between 2014 and 2016 the Hackensack and Meridian health systems jointly spent $91.9 million on these activities. “This hospital system is quite profitable and certainly not going broke. It prefers to shell out millions to its corporate officers and on its image rather than on livable wages for its healthcare workers and safer staffing levels,” said HPAE President Ann Twomey.
“The hospital is spending tens of millions of dollars to promote itself, defend itself and prevent passage of incredibly important legislation such as a safe staffing bill but refuses to pay $15 an hour to its service workers, who do the dirty work to keep the hospitals and nursing home clean and hygienically safe,” Twomey said.
Twomey said the union wants the hospital system to bargain in a good-faith manner and reach a fair contract agreement that will be “good for patients and fair to the healthcare workers.”
HPAE is the largest union of registered nurses and healthcare professionals in New Jersey. Since its founding by Englewood Hospital nurses in 1974, HPAE has expanded across the state and into Southeastern Pennsylvania, representing 13,000 nurses, social workers, therapists, technicians, medical researchers and other healthcare professionals in hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, blood banks and university research facilities. HPAE is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO